Cost cuts to force voluntary job losses

September 14, 2001

Heriot-Watt University is to seek voluntary job losses in a major restructuring scheme that will concentrate its academic departments into six schools and two postgraduate institutes. The unions have been working with management on a policy document that will go to the university court for approval.

Principal John Archer said the drop in public funds meant the university had to reduce its costs by working more efficiently. The new structure would minimise duplication, he said. The university has not ruled out compulsory redundancies, but says it will try to achieve cuts through voluntary means "wherever possible".

John Steel, president of Heriot-Watt's Association of University Teachers, said: "We are prepared to work with the policy document as the basis for negotiations for the voluntary retirement and severance of our members, and believe that the conditions set out are the best we could negotiate."

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